My last marathon was March of 2008, just over a year ago at the Virginia Beach Shamrock Marathon. I was in good shape, and had been having success with the "moderate consistent" training plan. I ran the race myself, but my wonderful wife was there at the finish line, waiting, and just as excited as I was to see the big clock say 3:20 when I crossed. I had finsihed the race so fast, she had not been expecting me.
That got me to thinking then, could I actually make it to Boston on my own? Could I really qualify? My first marathon had been 18 months prior in Richmond and I had finished in a very respectable 3:44. That had been a great accomplishment in my mind, but now, I was a scant 10 minutes away from a BQ!
This past year, I have been completing my PGY4 (post-graduate year 4, I graduated medical school in 2005) which is my first year as a Cardiology Fellow. Marathons have not been the order of business, but I did complete two 1/2 marathons in Jax and in Gville at 1:34 and 1:31 each.
1:31 x 2 = 3:02, a BQ with 8 minutes to spare.
Clearly, the math is not that easy, but I had not been in serious training for either race. What if I could commit to a 50-60 mile/week schedule? What if I really did the expert recommended speed and strength workouts (which I loathe). I am thinking I could do this.
I am hoping to spend next year on a research track, which should give me a little more time to be able to get the necessary miles in. If all goes to plan, by this time next year I will have 2 marathons and 2 half marathons under my belt and be tapering for a run from Hopkinton to Boston.
The goal then is:
1. Run the Half Marathon Challenge of the Worldwide Festival of Races
2. Qualify for Boston at MCM (Nov) or at Jax (Dec).
3. Repeat my run with the "Team Medicine" crew in the Gainesville Half-Marathon team competition and crush Radiology!
4. Run the Disney marathon with my brother-in-law, maybe my wife, and any other folks that are ready and trained.
5. Have a beer with Steve Runner prior to the 2010 Boston Marathon.
6. Line up in Hopkinton, collapse in Boston.
My wife pointed out to me last night that whereas before, i had made comments to the effect of "yeah, if I ever qualify for Boston, that'd be cool". Clearly now, I have my plan laid out, and I am ready to get started.
That is, once my knee feels a little better. But hey, I've got time to contemplate the training plan, build some base, and crosstrain some strength. In the meantime, I also have this doctor thing to keep me busy between runs.